Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5) Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐:emptystar:

microsoft-pc
top-budget-laptops

#1



To Buy Or Not Summary

:star::star::star::star::emptystar: by 4215 customers
4.1 out of 5
  • Amazon Customer Reviews
    :star::star::star::star::emptystar: by 2167 customers
    3.9 out of 5
  • Best Buy Customer Reviews
    :star::star::star::star::halfstar: by 1425 customers
    4.5 out of 5
  • Walmart Customer Reviews
    :star::star::star::halfstar::emptystar: by 623 customers
    3.6 out of 5

Features

  • Surface Pro 4 powers through everything you need to do, while being lighter than ever before
  • The 12.3" PixelSense screen has extremely high contrast and low glare so you can work through the day without straining your eyes
  • Go from tablet to laptop in a snap with the multi-position Kickstand and improved keyboard (Sold seperately)
  • Ships in Consumer packaging.
  • Buy
  • Don’t buy

0 voters


#2

Amazon Review by Joshua Oh :star::star::star::star::star:

1417 people found the following review helpful

I love it, but you might not.

It seems like the big question right now is, "Do I get the Surface Pro 4 or the Surface Book?"

I’ll explain why I chose the Surface Pro 4, but first, a quick about me. I am a college student majoring in EECS and I commute 4 hours a day by bus so having a light backpack is important to me.

The S.Book is almost two times heavier than the SP4. It packs much more computing power than the SP4, but as an EECS major, I don’t need the extra power that the S.Book has. I don’t plan to play any intensive games or render/animate things so the SP4 fits my needs better. The S.Book also has a $400 higher price tag ($270 if you get the Type Cover for the SP4) that I’m not willing to pay for unneeded performance. I haven’t tried the S.Book’s keyboard, but the SP4’s keyboard feels great to type on and other reviewers have said both keyboards are amazing. Reading textbooks or other PDF’s feels much more natural with the SP4’s tablet form. The S.Book without the keyboard only has a battery life of 3 hours, and although it can be used with the keyboard ‘wrapped’ around the back, I think that it’ll only be a hassle for me to deal with. I’d rather not deal with having to detach the S.Book every time I want to use it in tablet mode. If you plan to render/animate things you should probably consider going with the Surface Book. Otherwise, I highly recommend the Surface Pro 4 for doing everyday/light to medium tasks.

Now onto the actual Surface Pro 4 Review.

I love the SP4. In the past year, I’ve owned an iPad Air, MacBook Pro, and the Razer Blade 2015. The SP4 fits my needs the best by far.

The SP4 replaces both my textbooks and notebooks. For me, this is a big deal because I no longer have to carry around my notebooks, textbooks, and supplemental writing materials (highlighters, etc). The Surface Pen tips can be replaced with other pen tips to change the writing “feedback” feeling but the stock pen tip feels great. OneNote keeps all my notes organized and being able to access them from any device is incredibly convenient. Using the Surface Pen for writing on textbooks and PDF’s is also very useful.

I’ve been getting ~7-9 hours of battery life on the SP4 which is more than enough to get me through a school day. The screen is not too small like the iPad, neither is it bulky like a laptop. The screen resolution is high and text/videos are crisp and easy to read/watch. The magnet on the left side of the SP4 is surprising strong and holds the Surface Pen well. The magnet on the right side is significantly weaker (maybe because all the I/O ports are on this side) but it can hold the pen well. The kickstand works perfectly and stays in the position I set it to. The SP4 Type Cover feels great and protects your screen when you aren’t using it.

Gaming shouldn’t be the main reason you buy the SP4, but it could run some games if you decide to do so. I did try running StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm and the SP4 handled it pretty well. I wouldn’t even bother trying to run more demanding games such as GTAV on the SP4. That being said, the gaming experience was rather unpleasant. You should consider the Surface Book if you plan to game on-the-go frequently.

Software-wise, I don’t have much to comment on. It looks and performs exactly like Windows 10 should on a normal desktop or laptop. I’ve never used the Microsoft Store and don’t intend to so I don’t know much about the apps that are available on the SP4.

The only con I found with this device is the fact that it only has a single USB port. It’s inconvenient when I’m using the SP4 with a mouse and I need to use my flash drive. I haven’t had any overheating issues and I can’t find any issues with the build quality.

In closing, I don’t think anyone else offers the performance and quality that the Surface Pro 4 has in the same lightweight and thin chassis. It is incredibly versatile and it has replaced many heavy and cumbersome objects in my bag.

I’ll update this review as I continue to use the SP4. Feel free to leave questions/comments and I will try my best to answer them.

Amazon.com - Customer Reviews: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)


#3

Walmart Review by AlwaysOnlineShopping :star::star::star::star::star:

love it

love this perfectly powerful Microsoft product. facial recognition is so cool, plus u can do so many things with the pen

Walmart.com - Customer Reviews: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)


#4

thanks :+1:

Tested: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jGSOX2-G6M

#5

Best Buy Review by Pablo :star::star::star::star::star:

One of the best computers on the market

I am a longtime Mac user but have dabbled in Windows PCs here and there. It started when Microsoft released the Surface Pro 2. I liked the tablet but it was thicker than my MacBook Pro, weighed the same, was less powerful, and didn't last as long on a single charge. So I returned it in the hopes that Microsoft would come out with something later. I purchased a Surface 3 but it was painfully slow (due to the processor and the fact that it didn't have SSD storage but rather slower eMMC). So I returned that. I didn't go with the Surface Pro 3 as the Surface Pro 4 was just a month away from being released, I also thought I could get away with doing all of my work with a PC that used an Atom CPU.

I skipped out on the Surface Pro 4 as there were a bunch of issues when it first launched. People weren’t able to put theirs in sleep mode, batteries were draining, screen quality had taken a hit due to excess light bleed, etc. Windows 10 was also rather buggy when it first came out and that just added to the problems that the Surface Pro 4 had.

Fast forward to a little over a year and the Surface Pro 4 has become a solid tablet, notebook, and even a desktop. I had thought about waiting for the Surface Pro 5 but the release date for that is still unknown. The hardware improvements in Intel’s next generation aren’t all that great either. The CPU is going to see (maybe) a 10% increase in performance. The graphics will see a marginal (50-60%) increase in performance and battery life will increase by 10% at most. So yeah, there isn’t really anything there for me especially since I don’t have any 4K monitors and the current Intel hardware is more than capable of playing back 4K videos (though not h.265 4K videos).

After using the Surface Pro 4 for two weeks, I decided to sell my MacBook Pro. Not only was the Surface Pro 4 just as powerful as the 13" retina MacBook Pro it was replacing but it was thinner, 1lb lighter, had a screen of equal or better quality, and had way more features like touchscreen and the Surface Pen. The only aspect that wasn’t as good is the battery life. It’s just OK whereas my MacBook Pro was awesome but I’ll get to the battery life later.

I have owned my Surface Pro 4 for two months now and wanted to offer some insight, mainly for people who are switching from a Mac (and who were disappointed with the new MacBook Pr announcement) but also as just a general review for a PC. The first thing I noticed about the Surface Pro 4 (SP4) was how thin and light it is. The SP4 is comfortable enough to hold as a tablet or use as a notebook. I often find myself flipping the Type Cover back and using the SP4 with the kickstand open so it’s in a “tent” mode, that works best when I’m just messing around on the internet and using my SP4 in my lap. The SP4 is so thin that it fits in all of the tablet compartments in my messenger bag and backpack, these are compartments designed for an iPad.

The first thing I noticed about switching was the inclusion of Windows Hello. I highly recommend that people set this up. It uses the front facing camera (which is both a standard webcam and has IR sensors) to log you into your system so you don’t have to type your password or PIN number out every time. It takes about a second for the camera to recognize me and I’m logged in. I have even trained the camera to recognize me with and without my glasses. I also have the Type Cover with the fingerprint sensor but I continually rely on the front camera for logging in.

The second thing I noticed was the Pen. It is a truly remarkable accessory and I couldn’t imagine using a Surface without one. The Pen is magnetic and Microsoft built magnets into the sides of the SP4. All I do is clip it on the left side of my SP4 (the magnet seems stronger on the left side) and I can move around my house or take my SP4 to a meeting. The Pen hangs on securely and is ready instantly whenever I am. I have it setup so that clicking the end-button brings up OneNote and the end also acts as an eraser. You can use the Pen in any app or program though only certain ones actually take advantage of it (like drawing or photo editing apps/programs). You can even use it as a mouse or finger replacement.

The charging port is magnetic and this is a nice addition, unlike how Apple reverted away from their awesome magnetic charger. It means that you can accidentally kick the power cord and your Surface won’t go anywhere. It also means that the cable pretty much plugs itself in, you just need to get it near the power. I purchased the Surface Dock to go along with my SP4 and I highly recommend it. The Surface Dock charges the SP4 while also adding 4 full USB3.0 ports, an ethernet port, 3.5mm audio input, 3.5mm audio output, and two mini-Displayports capable of video and audio output. Whenever I come home, I plug in a single magnetic cable into my SP4 and it becomes my desktop hooked up to two external monitors (one is 1920X1080, the other is a 21:9 monitor at 2560X1080p), a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, an external Blu-ray drive, two external hard drives, and my sound system. The SP4’s display remains active too giving me a total of three displays (though I only use it for a few things as 12.3" is much smaller than my two monitors). The Intel Core i5 CPU and integrated graphics are more than powerful enough to drive all three displays without any form of stutter. I can playback 1080p and 4K videos on any monitor without a hitch. The 8GB of RAM in my SP4 lets me have multiple tabs open in Chrome with iTunes, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and code executing MATLAB all open in the background while still maintaining smooth operation.

I setup Cortana to turn on vocally (even though some people advised against it), I have location services enabled, and I have automatic brightness turned off. My battery life is serviceable but it could be better. When using Edge (I don’t recommend using Chrome while on the battery), I normally get about 6 hours of internet browsing. This includes me browsing media heavy websites, playing some HTML5 h.264 videos, and reading through news websites featuring a lot of tech. That’s OK but my MacBook Pro (MBP) used to get 9 hours of battery life doing that. I can get a solid 9 hours of video playback time out of my SP4. That’s playing h.264 videos stored on a microSDXC card using the built-in app while having Wi-fi turned off and Bluetooth turned on, with the screen brightness set to ~60%. That’s not bad at all but, under those same conditions, my MBP would easily get 11 hours and often push the 12 hour mark. Lastly, my SP4 will get 5 hours of work done. That’s a mixture between using Office, MATLAB, and browsing the web. It’s not bad but not great. Again, my MBP would get 7-8 hours of solid work per charge.

That is my only issue with the SP4 but the current battery life is enough for me to get through meetings and some work during the day before needing to be plugged it. It would be nice if I didn’t have to take the charger to work but it’s small enough that is isn’t an inconvenience to pack it. The last thing I want to talk about is Windows 10. It has come a long way and I truly enjoy using it. I like how it switches between Tablet and Desktop modes automatically based on how the Type Cover is positioned or if it’s even plugged in. I haven’t had any crashes and touch input has been accurate. The search function is above and beyond what’s available in macOS as you can search for anything in the start bar whether it’s for a file, program, setting, feature, or even something on the web like the weather, news highlights, the score to a game, etc. It has become a lot more robust than what was offered in Windows 8.1 and what Apple has in macOS. The only downside is that it takes the SP4 a solid 1-1.5 days to index everything stored on it but, after that, things run smoothly. I also like Cortana more than Siri. She understands natural language better and I don’t have to keep hitting a button to wake her up. Simply saying “hey, Cortana!” is enough. She can even open programs or change settings through verbal ques. The only thing I truly miss from macOS is iMessage. I have an iPhone and friends with iPhones, having access to iMessage on my Mac was a luxury. I could respond to texts (even from non-iPhones) through iMessage on my Mac, it meant I didn’t have to dig out my iPhone or go find it (if I left it in another room) just to text someone back. I could also take FaceTime and regular calls through my MBP without having my iPhone on me. That level of integration is nice. I have heard that Windows does something similar with other Windows Phones but I don’t have a Windows Phone, I don’t want a Windows Phone, and I can’t have a Windows Phone (they don’t support Verizon). Other than that, I am pleased with Windows.

All-in-all, the Surface Pro 4 is a solid PC. The battery life holds it back a bit but it runs full Intel hardware (there is an option for a Core m3 CPU but I recommend the Core i5), a full desktop OS, and has great accessories to back it up like the Pen, Type Cover, and dock. Microsoft has established an accessory ecosystem for the Surface Pro giving you plenty of sleeve, Type Cover, Pen, skin, screen protector, mouse, and keyboard options. I highly recommend the Surface Pro 4 for college students (taking notes in OneNote is a lot easier than typing them out especially if you are studying math or engineering), people who want a thin and light tablet that can replace a PC, people who were disappointed with the latest MacBook Pro, or generally anyone who wants a solid PC that has the best Pen support on the market.

Bestbuy.com - Customer Reviews: Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (256 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)